Little English (12A) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir: Pravesh Kumar, UK 2022, 98 mins.

Cast: Rameet Rauli, Viraj Juneja, Seema Bowri, Nikki Patel, Goldy Notay, Simon Rivers

Review by Carlie Newman

Some over-the-top acting prevents this comedy having as much impact as it could otherwise. It’s an amusing, romantic film with some good writing by director/ writer Pravesh Kumar and contains some realistic moments.

The story of a Punjabi family and their conflicts is set in Slough. An arranged marriage between the family’s eldest son Raj (Simon Rivers) and Simmy (Rameet Rauklli) who has been selected to come from India, with hardly any English, is disrupted when immediately following the wedding ceremony, Raj runs off. Poor Simmy is left in a hostile environment as her mother-in -law, Gurbaksh (Seema Bowri) locks her in the house so that the neighbours don’t find out what has happened. Simmy is treated very badly as she is made to act like a servant to the whole family.

Things look up when the youngest son, Harry (Viraj Juneja) returns home from prison. Although his mother is ashamed of him, he becomes close to Simmy – and now the romantic element enters the film. Simmy gradually learns English and how to manage and, indeed, to escape from family when discoveries are made about her new husband’s other life.

It’s a gentle rom-com with some nice moments of light relief. It doesn’t dwell too heavily on the actual domestic abuse taking place here.

As a little picture of life for some South Asians in England it is worth spending time on this movie